Asian Hotpot is a popular communal eating style where everyone shares a pot of broth in the middle of the table and use it to cook vegetables, thinly cut meat, seafood and other items. Broth can be spicy or as simple as chicken broth, we often use a dashi. You will also see it called Shabu Shabu in Japanese establishments and if you have ever seen documentaries on Sumo wrestlers, you will know that Chanko Nabe is something similar that is used to feed those large powerful men.

Making Shabu Shabu at Home

Hotpot can be something both very fun and nutritious to do with family and friends. Think of it like Fondu but without hot oil or cheese dripping on you which was the one thing that made Fondu not so fun for me. We have done hotpot ourselves as well as with family and friends many times over the year and we have built up quite a bit of equipment.

So let me share the series of items you can order directly from Amazon and be ready for having a shabu shabu party right away.


When we first started doing hot pot we got these little portable butane cookers.  I didn’t like them for a variety of reasons. One, I didn’t like having an open flame in the middle of our dining room. Two, I hated running out of butane in the middle of dinner and having to move every thing around to change it. And three, storing everything because kinda difficult since you are talking about storing gas and your burner, possibly in your house.

Instead, I ended up getting a portable induction cooktop.

Like the one above thay range between $50 all the way up to hundreds of dollars. And if you already have an induction range at home, the pots and pans will work just fine on them. I have even used them at holiday time to prepare things when there is no room in the kitchen.

The Pot

You have two choices for cooking hot pot. Most inexpensive pots are separated down the middle so you can have two different broths.

I tend to do only one broth so I don’t particularly like these and they are kinda cheaply built which means they pop when they are being heated. Instead I like this high quality one from Duxtop, the same maker as the portable induction cooker. It is heavier so can be used for more than just hotpot. A heavier pot will maintain heat better and the heavy duty glass lid is great while you are letting things cook or heating them up to begin with.


One of the interesting ways hot pot works is with the various utensils. Little baskets are used to cook meat. Some of them will hook onto the edge of your pot so it can sit and cook in the broth.

A set of these I found decent for up to 4 people assuming they get shared. The slotted ones allow you to cook and drain, the others for ladling broth into your bowl.

If you go to any Korean BBQ restaurant you will notice they all use the above tongs. What are great is they allow for picking up and moving small pieces of beef, pork or seafood but still allows you to pick up large amounts of vegetables.


You can always use normal bowls but if you are going to have a whole hotpot set, then having the asian bowls for everyone to enjoy is something to like. Plus the bowls are quite pretty as well. You don’t want them to big so you can lift them in your hand to keep from making a mess.

You also need soup spoons and chopsticks to eat with. Again, I like some elegance to them:

The Food

Your local grocery store or asian super market can provide everything you need for Hotpot. For us we always get:

  • Vegetables
    • Cabbage
    • Choi Sum
    • Bok Choi
    • Water Cress
  • Mushrooms
    • Enoki
  • Seafood
    • Shrimp
    • Scallops
    • Fish Balls

Finally we need to look at broth and condiments. You can make it easy with chicken stock but often we just use a dashi like the one below:

Dipping sauces

We also like dipping sauces. Below this is a listing of everything in this list so you can click through and put it into your shopping cart.

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